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Seattle Storm Announce Partnership with Planned Parenthood

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2017

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 13:  The Seattle Storm huddle up before the game against the Atlanta Dream on June 13, 2017 at Allstate Arena in Seattle, Washington.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Joshua Huston/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joshua Huston/Getty Images

The Seattle Storm announced a partnership with Planned Parenthood—an organization focused on reproductive health care—on Thursday that will include a "celebration of support." 

The Storm, along with Force 10 Hoops, are scheduled to hold an event July 18 at KeyArena before the WNBA team's game against the Chicago Sky. In addition, the team will take part in "fundraising efforts and active, ongoing support" for the group.

Seattle co-owner Dawn Trudeau said in the official partnership announcement the franchise believes it's "important to add our voice in favor of comprehensive health care for girls and women by supporting this wonderful organization."

"As individual Americans who are not legislators, merely citizens, we have felt hamstrung by our limited ability to make a meaningful impact in the national health care debate," she said. "Access to affordable, quality health care, including a full range of reproductive care, is a critical precondition for anyone—especially girls and women, to pursue their dreams and grow into their best selves."

The team will work directly with the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, whose CEO, Christine Charbonneau, also released a statement.

"We are thrilled about this first-of-its-kind partnership," Charbonneau said. "The Seattle Storm owners made a decision to publicly support Planned Parenthood making them the first professional sports team to make their voice heard and their stance known."

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Lindsay Gibbs of ThinkProgress reported the agreement came after the Storm's owners—Trudeau, Lisa Brummel and Ginny Gilder—became "increasingly frustrated by political attacks against Planned Parenthood" amid a larger national debate about health care.

"It was organic," Trudeau said. "We just talked about how this was something we felt was important right now. I think it's just one of the values that the three of us shared at the beginning, and it's been a core value of our partnership. It was a natural fit to combine the goals."

In January, Deirdre Walsh, Ted Barrett and Manu Raju of CNN reported Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, the current Speaker of the House of Representatives, was planning to "strip all federal funding for Planned Parenthood" as part of the Affordable Care Act repeal efforts.

Seattle is one of just two franchises with a perfect record in the WNBA Finals. They are 2-0 in the league's championship series, winning the title in 2004 and 2010.

Their roster currently features some of the biggest names in women's basketball, including Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird.

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